The Virgin Birth Myth? (Part 2)
Read: The Virgin Birth Myth? (Part 1)
Why is there a need for the virgin birth? Why do Christians believe that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin-born?
|A scene from The Nativity Story movie. Image credit: Frugal Christian Living|
In his Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Bible Doctrine, Wayne Grudem gave three reasons for the virgin birth.
First, “[i]t shows that salvation ultimately must come from the Lord. … The virgin birth of Christ is an unmistakable reminder that salvation can never come through human effort, but must be the work of God himself.” Just as the physical birth of Jesus was miraculous, so also the spiritual birth of believers is nothing short of miraculous. John 1:12-13 tell us, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, the gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (ESV)
Second, it made possible the union of two natures—undiminished deity and perfect humanity—in Christ. Grudem wrote
If we think for a moment of other possible ways in which Christ might have come to the earth, none of them would so clearly unite humanity and deity in one person. It probably would have been possible for God to create Jesus as a complete human being in heaven and send him to descend from heaven to earth without the benefit of any human parent. But then it would have been very hard for us to see how Jesus could be fully human as we are, nor would he be a part of the human race that physically descended from Adam. On the other hand, it probably would have been possible for God to have Jesus come into the world with two human parents, both a father and a mother, and with his full divine nature miraculously united to his human nature at some point early in his life. But then it would have been hard for us to understand how Jesus was fully God, since his origin was like ours in every way. (Ibid)Jesus had to be both God and man to redeem us. As Somebody equal to the Father, Christ could pay for our eternal debt. As Somebody like us humans, He could die for us.
|A scene from The Nativity Story movie. Image credit: Aceshowbiz|
Lastly, because of the virgin birth, Jesus was born without sin.
Jesus did not descend from Adam in exactly the same way in which every other human being has descended from Adam. And this helps us to understand why the legal guilt and moral corruption that belongs to all other human beings did not belong to Christ. (Ibid)According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” A sinner like us cannot be our savior.
|A billboard questioning Christmas. Image credit: Salon|
But, as we have seen, the truth of virgin birth is both significant for our salvation and decisive regarding our doctrinal view of the Lord.
So, it is really of utmost importance to answer this question: “Is the virgin birth a falsehood or a fact?”
To be continued...